Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Interviews With Federal Agents: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Today, let's talk a little bit about what you should do if a federal agent comes into your place of business, shows you their credentials, and asks you for a few minutes of your time. What should you do?
As a former federal prosecutor, (and currently, as a criminal defense lawyer in Augusta, Georgia), I can tell you that you should, at a minimum, be careful about how you proceed. Naturally, if it's merely an F.B.I. agent who is canvassing the neighborhood for leads on a bank robbery, then you may feel comfortable in cooperating with them, (unless you are the bank robber, of course!)
In such circumstances, cooperating with law enforcement may often be a "good" thing. But there can, in some situations, also be some "bad" and really "ugly" possibilities, too!
For example, if you are not an innocent bystander, but, instead, you are a target of a federal grand jury investigation, then you should, in my opinion, always contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney before you talk with anyone. Let's face it, anything you tell a federal agent can and will be used against you. But there is more! Did you also know that if you knowingly make a false statement to a federal agent, then you could also be charged with the federal criminal offense of making a false statement. Also, you could, in some situations, even be charged with obstruction of justice!?
So, that's the good, the bad, and the ugly about talking with a federal agent! Again, in many of these situations, the point is that it would probably behoove you to consult with your own criminal lawyer BEFORE you talk with anyone else!


  1. How frightening Richard!
    This is indeed good information because one never knows what one could encounter--it is not always you in trouble but it could be someone related to you and it is key to know what to do in a case such as this.
    Great information as always, have a lovely evening Richard, cheers!

  2. Thanks for the visit and astute comment! And I hope all readers of this blog will make a beeline to read your fine blog!

  3. Great info there Richard ! It's something new to me :)

  4. Wow, that is really frightening stuff. It seems that the average Joe is more and more often under the microscope these days and your information is extremely important. Thanks.